Planets

Artistic representation of the ten hot Jupiters examined in this research (Image NASA, ESA, and D. Sing (University of Exeter))

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that provides an explanation to the apparent scarcity of water detected on some exoplanets of the type known as hot Jupiter. These are gas giants like Jupiter but orbit very close to their stars and consequently have very high surface temperatures. An international team of astronomers used the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to study ten exoplanets of this kind.

Occator Crater in falso colors stressing the white spots (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

Two studies published in the journal “Nature” offered new interesting information about the dwarf planet Ceres. Thanks to analyzes of data collected by NASA’s Dawn space probe the authors of these studies claim that the mysterious white spots are composed of salts and that on Ceres there are ammonia-rich clays. The explanations about the materials that make up the white spots may solve a mystery while the presence of ammonia creates another, linked to the origin of this dwarf planet.

Artistic concept of the Akatsuki space probe orbiting Venus (Image courtesy JAXA. All rights reserved)

JAXA, the Japanese space agency, confirmed that its space probe Akatsuki has successfully accomplished the maneuvers to allow it to enter the orbit of the planet Venus. These maneuvers took place exactly five years after the failure of the first attempt. The orbit is significantly different from the one programmed for the mission and JAXA engineers are assessing it to schedule some additional maneuvers. However, there’s optimism about the possibility of carrying out the scientific mission Akatsuki was built for.

One of the very high resolution pictures of Sputnik Planum on Pluto (Image NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

NASA released the first very high resolution photographs showing close-ups of ​​the dwarf planet Pluto’s surface. These are images captured by the New Horizons space probe during its extraordinary July 14, 2015 flyby. In recent months, NASA already received high-resolution photographs but these ones are part of a series of shots that was intended to capture the details of Pluto’s surface, in this case the area called Sputnik Planum.

Scheme of carbon exchange and loss processes on Mars (Image Lance Hayashida/Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” offers an explanation to the loss of carbon in the planet Mars’ atmosphere. A team of scientists from CalTech (California Institute of Technology) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory studied the available data focusing on the problem of carbon because what remained is less than expected even taking into account the recent results on the red planet’s atmosphere loss.